Challenges and Opportunities for the Future of Media and Mass Communication Theory and Research: Positionality, Integrative Research, and Public Scholarship


  • Mark Deuze University of Amsterdam



media studies, mass communication theory, continuity, discontinuity, infodemic



In this essay I intend to tell a story of media studies and mass communication research as a field, based on the work of the late Denis McQuail – and that of editing the new edition of his seminal handbook McQuail’s Media and Mass Communication Theory (McQuail & Deuze, 2020). Using McQuail’s historical storytelling method, I specifically look at the challenge for the field in the context of a global pandemic alongside an infodemic, at a time when the whole world faces the consequences of recurrent lockdowns, social distancing measures, and institutional pressures to stay at home. Media studies and (mass) communication research, while having a distinct narrative, as a field has only just begun to articulate its relevance to society – we have only just started to tell our story. Using developments in understanding the self as a research tool, the implementation of integrative research designs, and calls for engaged and public scholarship, the paper outlines challenges and opportunities for what we can do with our field.

Author Biography

Mark Deuze, University of Amsterdam

Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Before that he worked as a journalist and academic in the United States, Germany and South Africa. His research focuses broadly on what influences how media get made, and thus the way culture is produced in society. Additionally, his work considers the relationships between the individual and society in the context of a life lived in media.


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How to Cite

Deuze, M. (2021). Challenges and Opportunities for the Future of Media and Mass Communication Theory and Research: Positionality, Integrative Research, and Public Scholarship. Central European Journal of Communication, 14(1(28), 5-26.



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